International Nurses Day: Specialist virtual consults continued during COVID lockdown

Emma Mumford says she is privileged to work in the only specialist midwifery role at Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

As the Clinical Midwife Specialist, Emma works with women diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GDM) during their pregnancy. Her goal is to effectively manage their glycaemic control and enable baby to be born in the most optimal condition.

“If I do my job well and educate and support mum to manage her blood glucose levels effectively, baby is born in a stable condition and can stay with mum in the postnatal ward for that all important close contact in the first few hours of life. It’s all about keeping mum and baby together and giving baby a healthy start in life,” she says.

“I love it. Women with this pregnancy complication need someone in the know to walk alongside them throughout their GDM journey.”

Emma supports women and their whanau with weekly contact, either via email, telephone or home visiting where she monitors levels and administers treatment as required. All of Emma’s face-to-face meetings with GDM women moved to virtual consults under the COVID-19 restrictions, enabling women to stay safe at home, whilst having all of the usual individualised specific care provided.

“I have spent lots of time in zoom and facetime meetings, regularly checking in with women, ensuring they are on track, have good control of their levels, have all of the supplies they need and that they are doing ok. It has been a new way of working but we made it work.” 

The women have enjoyed meeting from the safety and comfort of their own home and many have taken up the opportunity to include partners and whanau in the consultations that perhaps wouldn’t normally be able to attend.

Emma says it’s a unique and rewarding role.

“I’m making a positive difference to the health and wellbeing of mum and baby, and I feel very privileged to be in this role,” she says.

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